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Clyde'S Special Interest In New Club Vote

By Bob McPherson
Sun, 2nd Jun 2002 12:00am

The possibility that Clyde may yet have local competition just six miles over the hill from Cumbernauld in Airdrie moved a little closer on Friday when Scottish League secretary Peter Donald confirmed that the SFL intended to fill the vacancy caused by the demise of Airdrieonians FC.

Mr. Donald advised that the decision was not taken lightly. "After lengthy discussion, we are going to fill the vacancy," he said. Part of that lengthy discussion was caused by the views of at least one club which believes Scotland already has enough senior football clubs and the present three SFL Division should be cut to two. "Scottish football needs another club like it needs a hole in the head," claimed St. Mirren Chairman Stewart Gilmour but it was not a view which prevailed and in addition to a new Aidrie six other teams, Cove Rangers, Huntly, Gretna, Gala Fairydean, Edinburgh City and Preston Athletic, now move forward to the presentation and decision day on 18 June.

Each aspiring club has submitted plans, illustrations and brochures and criteria considered will include attendance figures, stadium facilities and the catchment area of those applying for membership. Representatives of twenty-seven clubs will decide - recent SFL newcomers Elgin City and Peterhead do not have a vote. The decision may heavily depend on the extent to which goodwill for a new Airdrie FC over-rides the problems many clubs experienced when dealing with the previous Airdrie club. Clyde’s ongoing plans to expand their support and increase business support in North Lanarkshire means the Bully Wee will take a greater interest than most in the outcome of the deliberations on 18 June.